Bernard Harcourt Examines ‘‘The Counterrevolution” in New Book
In his new book, Professor Harcourt argues that the United States has turned the techniques of counterinsurgency on its own people.
Bernard E. Harcourt, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, had just finished writing a book on digital surveillance when he found himself researching his next. “I was trying to understand how digital surveillance relates to drone warfare and Guantanamo Bay and to the kind of militarized policing we have today,” said Harcourt. “And, I started to realize that digital surveillance is just one piece of a new way of governing.” The result is a new book, The Counterrevolution: How Our Government Went to War Against Its Own Citizens, published on February 27 by Basic Books.
In the book, Harcourt argues that the United States has turned the techniques of counterinsurgency on its citizens. Strategies initially developed to combat colonial rebellions—bulk intelligence collection, targeting of minority groups, propaganda to pacify the masses—have become a new paradigm of domestic governance, he writes. In an interview, he explains how tactics developed for colonial populations abroad are being deployed, often ruthlessly, against Americans at home.